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Man Follows Birds (1975)

Chelovek ukhodit za ptitsami (original title)
| Drama | 1983 (Italy)
"Man Follows Birds" is a coming-of-age story of a young Uzbek poet surrounded by violence. Farouk is fascinated by trees and Khamraev films him with a lot of melancholy and tenderness. Cast... See full summary »




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Stars: Rustam Sagdullaev, Yakub Akhmedov, Bolot Beyshenaliev


Credited cast:
Dzhanik Fayziev ...
Dilorom Kambarova ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melis Abzalov ...
Maksud Atabaev ...
A. Atakulov
Nargis Avazova ...
Leonard Babakhanov
Bolot Beyshenaliev ...
Allayar-bay's guard
Yakhye Faizulayev
Bakhtiyer Ikhtiyarov ...
Farukh's father
Shukhrat Irgashev ...
Rich fiance
Dzhamal Khashimov
Khikmat Latypov ...
Poor Old Man
A. Muratova ...
Amadyra's mother
Abdugani Saidov ...


"Man Follows Birds" is a coming-of-age story of a young Uzbek poet surrounded by violence. Farouk is fascinated by trees and Khamraev films him with a lot of melancholy and tenderness. Cast apart because he's poor and his father's drunk, Farouk is not happy in his village. When his father dies, he decides to go in the mountains with his best friends. Looking for nature at its purest, the two teenage boys have to deal with the cruelty of violent barbarians. Their trip will also make them meet a lost orphan girl and a wise beggar.

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Release Date:

1983 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Man Follows Birds  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

10 June 2011 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

Khamraev apparently took on this project the day before shooting was scheduled to begin but you'd never guess it, because Man Follows Birds is a genuinely heartfelt meditation on the romantic ideals of adolescence – freedom, love and friendship, art and imagination, beauty and transience, nature and the transcendental – as well as on class and power, social order and disorder, humanity and evil, and more, all filtered through the eyes of a boy growing up in a small village in Khorezm several centuries ago. Farukh is something of a budding mystic, prone to ecstatic, sorrowful visions of his mother (who died in childbirth) and open to the wonder and potential of life in a different, more intense way than his feudal society can contain. And so the film becomes a road movie, as he and a slightly older buddy set off to try and fend for themselves in a world that wasn't made for them. It's structured as a kind of fable of recurrence: for a long time the seasons seem to pivot around the cusp of winter and spring, and the human drama around the poles of internal joy and imposed violence, companionship and ultimate aloneness. Some have compared it to Andrei Rublev, but Khamraev brings a lighter and gentler, though equally melancholy, touch to his material: as fierce as some scenes are there's a tender lyricism to balance the darkness, as well as a looser, less determined and perfectionist feel to the cinematography, mise-en-scène and editing (often it's as if consciousness itself were being pursued, on the wing). And although the narrative has its symbolic and even ritualistic motifs, its scope isn't epic: the focus remains Farukh and his growing moral and spiritual awareness. For that, Khamraev was lucky to have Dzhanik Faiziyev, whose beatific face and slight frame transparently annunciate all the hopes and often dashed dreams of youth. Hard to imagine this timeless work being made today; that it came out of Soviet Uzbekistan feels like some kind of small miracle.

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